Spanish region moves to ban prostitution, saying women are victims

Spanish region moves to ban prostitution, saying women are victims

The government of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has proposed a ban on prostitution, claiming it violates women’s fundamental human rights.

Valencia’s Ministry of Justice and Interior, led by socialist politician Gabriela Bravo, is trying to end prostitution not only in Valencia, but also hopes the measures will put pressure on the national government to act against it as well.

Minister Bravo stated that prostitution “is not a problem of public order, but a violation of women’s human rights”, adding: “When municipalities join, we will be giving a message to the [central government]: if at the municipal and regional level we are changing the laws to end this shame, the State must also take a step forward”, newspaper The world reports.

“We will continue to demand from the government of Spain a Comprehensive Law for the Abolition of Prostitution, but [Valencian officials] let’s not wait idly”, he added.

The Valencian proposal is based on decrees passed in two municipalities in the region that established a hierarchical approach to prostitution.

The lowest level is prostitution propaganda; the most serious is the request or negotiation of sexual services, and the most serious is if sexual services take place within 200 meters of schools, parks, sporting events or in isolated areas.

Fines are used as punishment for violations depending on the severity and range from €500 to €3,000 (£425/$520 to £2,551/$3,123) for clients of prostitutes. Prostitutes themselves are considered victims of gender violence.

“Let’s do away with euphemisms and promote a comprehensive law that incorporates them as victims [of] prostitution, trafficking or exploitation… they are entitled to benefits,” said Minister Bravo.

Part of the new legislation will also include funding for social and psychological assistance for victims of sex trafficking and will help women find new employment and provide residential help.

According The worldaround 10 to 13,000 prostitutes operate in Valencia, with 164 brothels and over 52,000 internet prostitution advertisements being discovered.

While prostitution is legal in many European Union countries, such as Germany and Austria, others, such as Sweden, have long had laws banning the practice and have taken the same approach as the proposed Spanish law, targeting those who buy sex rather than prostitution. prostitutes themselves.

The so-called “Nordic Model” has been criticized by groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), who claim they want to see prostitution completely decriminalized, claiming that the Nordic Model “actually has a devastating impact on people who sell sex for money.” life . As its goal is to end sex work, it makes it harder for sex workers to find safe places to work, unionize, work together and support and protect each other, defend their rights or even open a bank account for their business. ”.

Supporters of the Nordic model, however, argue that both legalization and decriminalization of prostitution have been shown to increase trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and that there is clear evidence that targeting demand reduces harm.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @Tomlinson CJ or email us at ctomlinson(at)

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